How was Iceland? That is what you’re all going to ask me isn’t it? The problem is I am struggling to answer that question. Reykjavik was a fantastic place and I had great company. We were on the move all the time and had good times, good food and some laughs. The weather prevented us from seeing the Northern Lights but I felt a sense of relief really. Although I had gone to see them for both Bob and I I’m not entirely sure I would have coped with the emotion of it. Now I can say I went and I tried, there was nothing more I could do. I thought that by going on the holiday I would feel closer to Bob somehow. I thought I would feel him there by my side, particularly when I lit a candle for him in the cathedral. But actually I felt very far away from him. Every day I feel that he is further away from my grasp, he is becoming too far for me to reach him or for him to reach me.
There was one moment though; we were on a bus, just your normal public transport bus going to Reykjavik centre, and some music started playing. Well I’ve mentioned music before and I really didn’t expect to get hit with this one. It was Pink Floyd – Shine On You Crazy Diamond. I am welling up just thinking about it. Bob loved that album so much. We would go down to Lymington for the weekend, go out for the evening and then come back to the house, pour a glass of wine and put this album on. We would just sit there letting the music wash over us. He would be so relaxed and peaceful. Then he would usually fall asleep holding his wine and I would have to sit ready to spring over and grab the glass before he dropped it. As the glass started to tilt I would try to take it from his hand, at which point he would open one eye, give me his lopsided grin, take another sip of wine and promptly go back to sleep! And so the music started playing on the bus and I nearly lost it totally. I want to think it was a sign from him but maybe the bus driver just had good taste in music!
Iceland was, of course, very emotional but I didn’t feel able to grieve in the same way I had been in the UK. I began to feel tense and tired. And it is tiring, grieving, it is constant and unrelenting. It is a ball inside your chest, a lead ball which makes you feel constantly weighted down. There is no way of putting the ball down and getting some respite. This blog and exercise are my only releases really. A lot have people have said they think I am being very strong and it made me think about how I feel I am managing. A couple of days ago I pulled out my notepad and wrote this;
Nowadays I feel that there are two Cadi’s around. The Cadi I am, the Cadi I feel (Real Cadi) and ‘Other Cadi’. Other Cadi is the public face. She is the one you all see.
In the morning Other Cadi gets Real Cadi out of bed. She tells her to get dressed and preform daily chores. She tells her when to smile, gives her conversation and witty comebacks. She informs Real Cadi it would be good for us to keep busy and exercise. And most of all she takes care of Real Cadi and protects her from the world.
You see Real Cadi is cowering and shrivelled. She has retreated to the corner and is gratefully watching Other Cadi doing her thing. Real Cadi is terrified to face life and accept the way it has changed. Real Cadi cries and mourns 24/7. She is exhausted and wants to stay in the dark. Real Cadi does not want to move on with life. she wants life to stop at 8 am on Tuesday 4th February 2014. She never wants to leave the house that morning. She wants to get back into bed with a cup of tea and never allow time to move forward.
Other Cadi has insisted that it cannot be that way. The reality is that neither Cadi can stop or turn back time. Time will move on whatever Real Cadi wants.
Other Cadi carries Real Cadi through each day. But there is a heavy weight. Real Cadi sits on other Cadi’s chest and the load is hard to carry. There are times when Other Cadi cannot shoulder the burden and must set Real Cadi down. She must let her see the world. She allows Real Cadi’s memories; deep and personal, her fears; dark and overwhelming, her anger; fleeting and irrational and her sorrow; bottomless and crushing to emerge.
And that is when you may see Your Cadi falter. You will see her mind slide away to the past and she will turn away from you. You may see her body tense and heave. If you turn her face towards you you will find tears flowing. Rivers on her cheeks. You will see the pain in her eyes and you will wonder how you can help her.
But before you can get beyond murmered words and hugs Other Cadi will come and snatch her back. Like a parent whose toddler has strayed too close to the road. You may have gone to pull her back from the traffic but Other Cadi will now clutch her tight and soothe her. She may look gratefully at you over Real Cadi’s shoulder but be assured it’s ok now, she has control of the situation and you are dismissed.
Don’t be annoyed with Other Cadi for pushing you away. She is just protecting her weaker self. For now get along with Other Cadi, she is doing her best to be the Cadi you know. In time she will let you closeer to Real Cadi…when the two of them become closer to being one Cadi.
This may sound strange but it’s the closest I can get to letting everyone know how I feel.
For now though Other Cadi is taking me out for a bike ride! The training needs to start for the Coast 2 Coast in a Day Challenge. And when better than on a sunny Saturday. When I first thought about doing the ride I wasn’t going to fundraise for charity but people started to ask if they could sponsor us so I have been searching for a charity I felt was approriate. I strongly feel that, had I known what signs to look out for and how to read them, I could have helped Bob more. It is easy to look back now and beat yourself up for not seeing it coming. And believe me I do. I have found a charity which educates people in the signs to look for when some one is depressed. They seek to stop things going too far by educating young people, teachers and medical professionals in identifying and supporting those with depression. They are the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, www.cwmt.org.uk I would be happy if anyone wants to look at their website and give me their views or if anyone has any other ideas, do let me know.
For now I will leave you with a picture of me with and Icelandic pony! I forget how I am at my happiest and most relaxed when around horses. Pony riding in Iceland was fun and therapeutic, I think I need to start riding again in the UK.
I now mainly write on my new blog; An Adventurous Girl. I would love it if you would join me there by clicking here.